Sunday, October 30, 2005

A story of ...

Today we are to post stories of ghosts,
and magick and enchantment an dreams.

Well, I don't know what this is. On our hall
at the Manor House of Sakin'el,
there is a small vial made of ivory,
hanging from a thong within an open
wooden cage. We never say anything about it
to guests, but if something strange happens, I say,
"You didn't touch that did you?" and they instantly
know to what I refer.

I hung it there after writing this story.


Tear Circle

The wait had been interminable but the Shaman was finally spotted in the distance. The troubled father glanced again at his son, trembling, sweating, moaning. A malady unknown, but everyone knew it would be fatal unless the old man could help. The ancient form swayed and stroked with feather and smelled the labored breath. The he took the father aside.

The tearful man was named Sobda, but everyone affectionately called him the 'Hawk', partially because of his hooked nose and dark brows that spoke of some Turkic heritage, but also for his hunting skill. Now his only son lay near death and everyone mourned.

"This will be difficult, my son," the Shaman said, "But it is the only way. You must go to the Tear of Abdu!" The Hawk was able to disguise his fear. He prepared.

With two horses ridden in the Mongol way he rode for a day and a half. Then in a meadow he hobbled the horses near a stream and threw his horse blanket over a bush. He crawled beneath and slept in a curled ball. Later he hunted and gathered -- nuts, berries, a rabbit. He waited half a day in prayer and casual rest. Then they charged forth again. Five days from the start he arrived, more than 400 miles from home. He recognized the spot from a distance, up a slight slope beneath a ridge of rock. The color of the foliage was different and the trees grew at strange twisted angles from the ground. He stopped at a goodly space and crawled forward as he had been instructed.

Some claimed that there were energy lines around Mother Earth, and where they intersected nature was disturbed. Perhaps. But local myth told of a time that the Tengry were saddened by how man was defiling the land and wept, causing a time of great storms. One giant tear fell through to the ground and the spot was born. The name was ancient and no one knew that Abdu meant sorrow. As Sobda crawled carefully forth his mind reeled with confused thoughts of despair and joy, or birth and death, of doubt and trust. He had to continue on.

He wrapped his face in a silk cloth filled with fragrant fern and inched up to the spot. Hidden in its ring of dreadful trees the Tear was a carpet of pale green, perhaps five paces across. Perfectly round and smooth as a pond. He dare not tread upon it as the tiny dark leaves, five in number and overlapped would waft up a perfume from which he would not escape; so poisonous that there were no insects or birds above. The pale blush came from tiny clusters of white blossoms in the center -- no larger than the snowflakes children catch on their tongues. For these he had come.

He lay with his protective mask pressed into the dark earth and reached forth to pluck the flowers and place them in a silver tray. It took six hours to gather enough, inching around the circle and reaching out as far as he dared. Then he crept back and poured the stream of blossoms into a leather pouch that had been cured with honey. At a distance he washed repeatedly in a waterfall, plunging his fingers into the sand. The horses were close when he collapsed beneath a towering fir and slept. Later he gave prayerful thanks for his safety and began the terrible drive home.

The Shaman prepared an infusion of the flowers, mixed with other herbs to remove the bitterness. Then Sobda forced tiny sips into his son's quivering lips. Twelve hours later the fever broke and the child slept in peace. The Shaman gathered up his things and prepared to leave and placed a hand on the Hawk's shoulder with pride. "Your life will be changed forever," he said. The beaming father handed the old man the leather pouch as gift which still contained a measure of the seeds of life. The old man bowed and strode off into the dawn.

He had said that since time began the flower had been named in a language long forgotten. 'Shuletang'. It was a gift of Tears found in one spot on earth alone.

You can know that the name means 'Dust of Angels'.


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